These are some of the wresting stalwarts making the nation proud
One of the oldest forms of combat, the origin of wrestling dates back 15,000 years through cave drawings. One of the oldest sports in the world has a long history in India as well. Mainly seen as an exercise in ancient times and performed to stay physically fit, wrestling emerged as a sport over the years.
Traditionally in India done wearing a loincloth, langota, it was most famously known as Malla-yuddha in ancient times, progressing to be called dangal, and also kushti in Punjab and Haryana. However, over time it has come to be recognized to be a sport played in Olympics. Here is a list of such great wrestlers who have made India proud.
Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav
Introduced to wrestling by his father wrestler, Jadhav started wrestling at the age of five. He represented India at the 1948 Olympic Games, the one soon after India’s independence. Though not being able to win a medal he impressed everyone with his skills and finished sixth. Jadhav was also known as ‘Pocket Dynamo’ wrestled his way to the bronze medal in the freestyle (57kg) category at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, which became India’s first individual medal after Independence.
Sushil Kumar Solanki’s fame to gory was his winning of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 where he won a Bronze medal. From the village of Baprola in Southwest Delhi, Kumar is the first Indian to win a World Wrestling Championship title in 2010, only Indian athlete to win two individual medals, bronze in 2008 Beijing Olympics and Silver at London Olympics in 2012 in men’s freestyle wrestling. Sushil Kumar was awarded the Arjuna Award and Rajiv Gandhi KhelRatna for his achievements.
From a remote village of Bhainswal Kalan in Haryana, Dutt started training at the young age of eight. It was after the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship in London in 2003 where he won the gold medal in the 55 kg Freestyle category that Dutt came to the notice. In 2006 at the 15th Asian Games held in Doha he won the Bronze medal in the 60kg category.
From Haryana, it was her wrestler father who prepared Phogat to be a champion breaking social barriers. Her international wrestling debut and first medal came in the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship held in Punjab in 2009, where she won a gold medal. Phogat is the first Indian women wrestler to have been qualified for the Olympics, has won at the Asian Championship, Commonwealth Games, and has a bronze medal at the 2012 World wrestling championship.
Few other wrestlers of India making India proud are Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, and more.